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Businesses have come to realize that they simply can’t afford to ignore the tremendous reach of social media or the targeting that it offers. As a result, virtually all marketing campaigns these days include some component of social media marketing. However, one of the challenges of this is that social media is always changing, and that means it’s a bit like hitting a moving target when you are a social media marketer trying to gauge the interest of a target audience or to stay abreast of changing requirements and technology on various platforms.

 

With the constant changes and updates, it’s extremely important to stay current on all emerging trends and patterns on social media so that you can incorporate them into your own strategy for reaching out to consumers. Knowing what is happening right now and where those trends are going can have a major impact on how you develop your marketing strategies. Here are some of the strongest trends currently in effect, and which will likely continue to become stronger throughout the coming year. 

 

Alternative Platforms

Many businesses are discovering they no longer receive the kind of return they once got from the major social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. This being the case, many brands are considering major investments with alternative platforms such as TikTok, Pinterest, or LinkedIn. Businesses that have younger audiences can achieve a much bigger reach by investing in platforms like TikTok, which has a higher percentage of that market showing up every day. 

For e-commerce businesses, Pinterest has been slowly positioning itself as an effective online e-commerce platform, and it has been steadily increasing its reach. There has been a huge resurgence in Pinterest usage by users. It is no longer a platform used just by people for finding inspiration on interior decorating or for saving recipes.

Pinterest has a very high engagement rate with its loyal users, with 75% of them saying that they are excited about new products appearing on the platform, as opposed to just 55% of users who are interested in products appearing on the other current major social media platforms. Some brands have already reported that their return on investment is twice as high on Pinterest as it ever was on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

LinkedIn has become a favorite platform for B2B type businesses. While it is a more expensive platform to operate, the targeting capabilities are extremely dialed in for getting your message in front of the right buyers. If you have your buyer personas identified and have a clearly defined conversion funnel, LinkedIn is a great channel to pursue both new leads as well as remarket to existing ones.

In the year 2020, look for more brands to reduce their market spend on the major platforms, and consider investing in some of the alternative platforms.

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social media strategy Social Media Influencers

One of the biggest trends regarding social media influencers for the coming year will be that many brands will diminish their reliance on big celebrities and other major influencers. This is due to the fact that many of these individuals no longer have the full confidence of their followers, who now realize that influencers have a vested interest in promoting specific brands.

Look for the trend to be toward micro-influencers, who tend to be members of communities online and who actually engage in ongoing conversations with their followers. This can help tremendously when it comes to making purchasing decisions, and it can also exert a great deal of influence regarding an increase of trust in specific brands. Many online users prefer to put their trust in family, friends, and these micro-influencers who are already part of their online groups, simply because they’re more believable, and because they don’t appear to have major ties to corporations.

social media influencers Social Media Burnout

You might think that there is no limit to the tremendous impact that social media can have on users, and given the fact that there are about 3.5 billion social media users globally, this would seem to confirm the fact. However, there are some statistics behind the scenes which are making it clear that for many people, the saturation point has been reached with social media. 

Many people are actually deleting social media apps and discontinuing their accounts so they can back away from social media usage. Having found that social media has been dominating their lives and taking up way too much of their useful time, a great many people are actually choosing to stay away from social media or to drastically curtail their involvement online.

Of all those people who have deleted or removed social media from their smartphones, 29% said they did so because they felt overloaded by it. Other reasons given were distrust for fake news and a concern for privacy and security in conversations. This will actually trigger another strong trend in the coming year, where administrators will be providing greater privacy and security for exchanges between users. 

What this should mean to social media marketers is that it will be a dangerous strategy to put all your eggs in the social media basket. A much better approach would be to diversify the channels by which you deliver your message to your target audience, recognizing that a number of people are actually backing away from social media to some extent.

 

Social Media Groups and Communities

There are tons of brands online that have thousands of followers, but that doesn’t necessarily mean there’s any real level of engagement among those followers, or that it does anything at all to increase conversions. On the other hand, brands that participate in social media groups and communities tend to have much greater levels of engagement with their followers, and that does lead to greater sales.

As a regular participant of a community online, you can thank users for any comments or likes which they made about posts that you’ve recently made, and you can also engage in discussions to find out what’s really on the minds of consumers with regard to your products and services. There’s no better way to find out users’ wants and needs, as well as all their pain points than to involve yourself with regular discussions with them.

This will give you all the information you need to tweak your products or services to make them more appealing, and it will also allow you to formulate a more effective marketing strategy when trying to appeal to users.

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